Fullerton Sexting Scandal, What's A Parent To Do? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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Fullerton Sexting Scandal, What's A Parent To Do?

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Sexting… we've been talking about it in the last few years, a lot. It's been on the news, on the talk shows, teachers have talked to students but we're still hearing that it's happening in our schools. Let's face it, it has become a part of teen culture and probably isn't going anywhere! The problem (besides the obvious) is that if your child is caught with pictures of a minor on their phone, they could be going somewhere- right into our penal system.


How About A Mobile Watchdog?

So, what can you do? I mean, you can't be on their phone every minute of the day, right? Wrong. There are technologies which will allow you to do just that if you need to. You just need to know how to enable them. One such technology is from MyMobileWatchdog.com and I've actually been using it on my own children's phones for years now. MobileWatchdog allows you to see every text message, picture message (MMS), email and application on their phone. It also allows you to block certain features by time of day, see which websites they visit (with one caveat), track them via GPS and selectively monitor communications from people in their address book. Sounds great and it is. It is a great tool, along with consistent, proactive parenting, conversations about expectations of appropriate technology use and the consequences of inappropriate use. That said, you can expect to pay $4.95 a month per phone on the account with a 7-day free trial to get you started. The app/service is only available for Android, so be aware of that hitch and with regard to being able to see which websites they visit, that only applies to the websites they visit using the stock web browser or Google Chrome. Many applications allow you to visit websites without ever leaving their app.


iOS, Not Watch Dog Friendly

One important note, MobileWatchdog runs in the background, which is why it is able to send you all of that relevant data. This is also why you won't find it, or any other similar app, available for iOS. Unless you jailbreak your child's iPhone you won't be able to use a parental control application or service which is why I always tell parents who are buying their child their first smartphone to stay away from iOS unless they're going to be very active in checking the phone when necessary. So, what steps can you take if you decide to pick up an iPhone for the little ones? You can turn on parental restrictions from the General Menu in the Settings app, then block the camera and block the ability of your child to install apps without your permission so that they won't be able to just download a different camera app and use that. Short of doing that, you'll have to rely on conversation and good decision making by your adolescent.


Relationship, The Best Deterrent!

I believe very strongly (and studies have shown) that strong relationships with our children are the greatest deterrent to some of the attention seeking behaviors associated with sexting. Particularly the bond between a father and a daughter. Girls who have a keen understanding of their value, imparted by a loving and close relationship with dad, often don't go seeking love and approval from male adolescent peers to the extent that their peers who lack such a relationshiip do. That's why I created the International Daddy Daughter Tea Day back in 2010, to help encourage men to take time out and connect appropriately with their daughters in an effort to stem the victimiziation of many of our young ladies through the use of technology. Again, I believe that when they truly understand their value, they be less likely to put htemselves in some of the compromising positions we often report in the news! As always, if you have any questions about what you've read here or what you can do to help keep your home safe, you can message me on multiple social media platforms by searching Tshaka Armstrong! I'm happy to answer your questions there.

 

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